15 Sep 2014
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Patch Instagram photo by cmptactical
Patch Instagram photo by cmptactical

Crime Sucks, And Pays in Change: Weird Crimes

Baby Jesus figures disappear in Oak Lawn and Tinley Park • Worker at new pancake restaurant made a bad impression ... This week's roundup of weird crime news in the Southland.

Crime Sucks, And Pays in Change: Weird Crimes

Shop Vac Bandit

Dec. 6: Someone pried open the change compartment of a gas station air vac machine and stole over $267 in coins, according to reports.

Police say the culprit struck a BP gas station vacuum machine sometime between Nov. 14 and Dec. 6, when a service person noticed the damaged during a collection run. Cops think the thief was able to quickly retrieve the coins from the machine by sucking them out with a shop vac, according to reports.

In total, $267.75 in coins were stolen. The machine is owned by United ATM & Credit Card out of Glenview, IL.

Read more on Chicago Heights Patch

Bye, Bye, Baby

Dec. 30: Two plastic Baby Jesus figures were removed from outdoor Nativity scenes in Oak Lawn, police reports said.

Oak Lawn Police were dispatched to the area of 97th Street and Kenton Avenue around 9:43 p.m Dec. 28, after reports of teens tampering with Christmas decorations.

The caller flagged down police, who said that his plastic Baby Jesus and shepherd were stolen from his front lawn. The called said he heard a group of teens leaving the area and that other decorations allegedly taken by the teens were found in the street near his house.

As the officer patrolled the neighborhood, he spotted an unusual arrangement of plastic holiday decorations on a lawn in the 10200 block of South Kilbourn Avenue.

The officer knocked on the homeowner’s door, where he confronted a woman who was “very angry and defensive” about the lawn decorations.

Police said the homeowner insisted that the decorations were hers, even though they were arranged carelessly on her lawn and none of the plastic figures were plugged in.

According to the report, the homeowner hastily scooped up the plastic Santa, lamb, Mary, Joseph, two angels and a shepherd and brought them into her house. The homeowner was not charged.

During this same time frame, police received another call of two suspicious vehicles dropping Christmas decorations off near 107th Street and Kenton Avenue

Sometime between Dec. 24 and Dec. 30, someone removed a Baby Jesus figure from a Nativity scene from a yard in the 5900 block of West 89th Place.

Read more on Oak Lawn Patch

Another Expensive Jesus Disappears

Dec. 25: A resident in the 8900 block of Flamingo Lane reported Christmas Day that the baby Jesus and manger from his from his front lawn Nativity scene had been taken overnight, according to police reports.

The paper and resin statues, which had been on display since Nov. 24, cost about $500 each, the report stated. The manger and Jesus statues were taken between 10 p.m. Dec. 24 and 7 a.m. Dec. 25, the report added.

A search of the area turned up no clues, according to police.

“[The responding officer] did not locate the missing baby Jesus and manger anywhere in the surrounding neighborhood,” the report stated.

Read more on Tinley Park Patch

I Hope She Finds New Work

Dec. 31: The new IHOP on New Lenox lost a worker New Year's Day when she went to jail for allegedly stealing from her colleagues and holding drugs.

Kaely Melsome, 28, of 1152 N. Cedar Road was arrested at the New Lenox IHOP shortly after 3 p.m. and carted off to the Will County jail.

Melsome was charged with theft and possession of a controlled substance.

An officer was sent to the recently opened IHOP on New Year's afternoon to investigate a reported theft.

When the officer arrived, he was told "Melsome removed cash from other employees' coats," police said. "While taking Melsome into custody the officer discovered that Melsome was in possession of prescription medication that she was not authorized to possess."

Melsome had Norco, a pain-killer, and alprazolam, an anti-anxiety medication, police said.

Just hours before her arrest, Melsome posted on her Facebook page, "Happy new year everyone !! I'm off to work, booooo."

Melsome remains in custody. She is being held in lieu of $10,000 bond.

Read more on New Lenox Patch

Police report information is provided by local police departments. Charges are not evidence of guilt. They are a record of police actions on a given day, and persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court. If you or a family member are charged or cited and the case is subsequently adjudicated, we encourage you to notify the editor. We will verify and report the outcome.

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